Tuesday, November 12, 2013

My First PASS Summit - Part 1 (Monday and Tuesday)

A couple of weeks ago, I finally got to attend my first PASS Summit! A lot of great conversations, connecting, and learning occurred. So much so that it took about a week for me to process the experience enough to considering blogging about it as a whole. In the week immediately following Summit my blog posts were Power BI - The Latest from Summit and Region Shading and Custom Coloring in Power Map. Both posts were inspired by content I heard about at Summit.

It's now now been exactly four weeks since Summit officially started, and I've finally had the processing time and blogging time to post about the first 2 days.



SSRS Pre-con

It was my first Summit, so I wanted to tryout a day of jam-packed learning on a single topic. I attended Stacia (pronounced Stay-sha) Misner's From Reporting Services Rookie to Rockstar pre-con. I wasn't very familiar with SSRS, so this was an excellent session for me to get a high level overview of SSRS and its major capabilities.

With OKCSQL VP Matt Brimer (@SQLCenturion)


Hanging with Tim Mitchell, my husband Jeff, and Matt Brimer

It was great to catch up with Julie Koesmarno (@mssqlgirl). We're outside my hotel's bar where about 30 of us converged shortly beforehand. The pub we, previously, tried to go to was already too full from other Summit attendees.

Tuesday Day - SQL Saturday Round Table and Chapter Leader's Meeting

Tuesday started with Rob Farley leading a lot of SQL Saturday organizers in discussions about changes to SQL Saturday rules and what kind of guidance organizers are looking for. Four of us from Oklahoma City that already knew each other ended up sitting together at a table. Although this led to some great internal discussion, it didn't lead to great networking. I did make some great contacts right after the meeting, though.

Tuesday afternoon was the chapter leaders meeting. I made a specific point to sit at a table where I didn't know anyone. That decision alone allowed me to meet Tim Radney (RM for South East - USA), Pinal Dave (RM for India), JK Wood (Chapter Officer from Missouri), and a couple of other chapter representives. Our table and then the overall meeting attendees had some great discussion about the benefits of PASS and where improvements could be made.  Afterwards we broke into our PASS regions and met with our RM's and other chapter leaders from our region.

Follow-up note: Last night JK drove four hours from Springfield, Missouri to provide an in-person presentation to OKCSQL.

Five of us are wearing "First Timer" ribbons
Hanging with fellow SC Chapter Representatives: Jeff Johnston (MSBIC), Ganesh Gopalakrishnan (NTSSUG), Jim Murphy (CACTUSS Central), Matt Brimer (Tulsa SQL), me (OKCSQL), Ryan Adams (RM), Curt Wolfe (Northwest Arkansas SQL Server Users Group) and Sri Sridharan (Board Member)

Tuesday Night - First Timers Orientation, Welcome Reception, Linchpin Party 

First Timers Orientation

Tuesday night was one of my favorite nights, and I almost skipped this first amazing part! I'd read tons of Summit advice blog posts and had been to SQL Rally. Other people had given me in-person advice, as well. I'm SO glad that I attended this event. I received some excellent additional advice related to Summit and got some amazing glow jewelry. My husband, a guest pass participant, felt a bit distracted at this particular event, so he walked around picking up more glowsticks and making me more jewelry. As for Summit proper advice, one key point was to arrive to sessions early, as they can completely fill up. Note: I attended mostly BI sessions and got there early enough to not miss any sessions. I typically arrived 15 minutes early. I always got into my sessions. I know several people who tried arriving at DBA sessions 10 minutes early and got turned away.

Showing off my glow jewelry at the First Timers Orientation!
The jewelry led to some great conversations throughout the evening.

Welcome Reception

We have two amazing Regional Mentors in the South Central Region. They are Ryan Adams and John Sterrett. John spent much of the welcome reception introducing myself and a few others around.

Linch Pin Private Party

I apparently know several people connected to Linch Pin, so I was lucky enough to get invited to their private vendor party that evening at Strike City! There was free bowling, appetizers, and beverages. I met a lot of great people that night and also caught up with existing SQLFamily. One of my favorite conversations was with Rob Farley whom I'd met at SQL Rally the year before.

I had a hard time comprehending that Summit officially started on Tuesday evening, since by the end of the night my Summit experience was 40% over. I'll cover the remaining days in later post(s).

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